Recently, I had the opportunity to read an absolutely outstanding book on the topic of success called, Inspired to Succeed by Christopher Novak. In this book, he showcases 12 “real life” experiences and shares a leadership lesson from each. One of the best ways to learn is through stories and this book really brings these lessons to life through the stories they were applied to.
I wanted to share with you the 4 lessons that I found particularly profound:
Making a difference isn’t about doing something; it’s being something.
Sometimes we get into a mindset that if we are doing something, we are accomplishing things. Doing things, just to be doing things, is not always productive. You can be engaged with doing things for other people, but if your heart is not in it, you will not be making a difference. People know if your heart is into something or not. What we say is only a small part of what we communicate. Our body language tells so much. What we are inside, what we represent, speaks volumes about the type of person we are. If you want to really make a difference, be the thing that is causing the difference. Make it a part of who you are. When everything inside of you lines up with the work that you are doing, that is when you will really make a difference.
Mediocrity isn’t being marginal; it’s being stagnant.
This world will try to fit us into a mold of what the world thinks we should be each and every day. What we should wear, how we should react, what we should eat and drink, what we should look like. The list goes on and on. If we are not actively trying to break out of that mold, each and every day, we will find that we are drawn into that mold. Mediocrity is about being like the majority of the people around you. That does not mean that those people are marginal, although they can be, but just that they do not really stand out. Mediocre people don’t mind being like most of the other people. They are content to be stagnant and not grow and develop. They are perfectly happy being formed into the mold of society. If that is what you want, great. If you want to be different, then you need to actively break out of the mold of mediocrity. You need to feed your brain daily with things that will expand your mind, your perceptions and lead to you doing things differently than the majority of society. Reading this blog is one way to do that. Being different is a lot of work, but it is worth it.
There are no small leadership moments.
Sometimes the most influential moments didn’t seem that big of a moment at all at the time. A good leader is willing to make decisions in the big moments, when everyone is watching. They are also willing to make decisions when no one is watching them. It is the leader who is willing to do the right things and make the right decisions in those small moments, when no one is watching, that are the truly great leaders. Any decision a leader makes can have a huge impact later, even if it does not seem like it at the time. Every situation we engage in, is a chance to change something or someone.
Declaration, discipline, and determination.
These are the 3 D’s of great leadership.
Declaration is when you create goals for yourself and you are willing to share them with others. By declaring your goals, you are holding yourself responsible for achieving them and that means you will have a much greater chance of achieving them. Declaring your intentions is a very important part of the process.
Discipline is about having the discipline to do the work it takes to achieve youre goals. That means doing the little things each day that put you on the path to being successful. It means doing things the right way when no one is watching. Without the discipline to work at your goals, you will never achieve them.
Determination is about having the determination to do whatever it takes to achieve your goals. It’s easy to be determined about achieving your goals when you come up with them. The question is, will you be determined enough to still do what it takes to achieve those goals when the excitement has worn off. Goals are not always easy to achieve. Without the determination to see your goals through to their completion, will make all the difference on you achieving them.
These are some great lessons that we can ponder when we think about what it takes to be a great leader. The type of leader that stands out from the rest of the crowd and really makes a difference.